As an angler, you know the importance of choosing the right gear for any given circumstance. A travel rod is a piece of equipment that opens up the possibilities for your fishing habits.
Travel rods range in design with a maximum of four pieces that can be assembled and disassembled in seconds. You can set off on hiking, camping, and backpacking trips without hassle or complication with the right compact travel rod.
Why Invest in a Rod Suitable For Traveling
Whether you fish recreationally or commercially, travel rods are essential gear for the angler on the move. The benefits are endless and based on practicality.
You can purchase a protective case for any type of fishing rod, but even the shortest full-sized one-piece rods are difficult to travel with. Travel rods are, without a doubt, the best alternative for the angler traveling nationally and internationally.
What Makes a Great Travel Fishing Rod
Travel rods typically range in length from six to seven feet when fully extended. A good rule of thumb is that the longer the rod, the farther your line's outreach.
A rod on the longer side is also best suited for catching large fish because you’ll reach deeper waters with a heavier lure. You can always look on the side of your rod to see the recommended lure weight, which will affect the kind of bait you have.
Portability is top on the list of priorities when choosing a travel rod. Travel rods vary in design with some constructed as one collapsible section (a telescopic rod), while others are designed with a blank separated in up to four sections.
The blank, or the pole portion of the rod, impacts the rod’s action. Spinning rods and baitcasters are attached to the rod's reel seat, which you turn by using the handle. These installments affect a rod's portability, so keep this in mind when purchasing your own rod.
There are three main types of rod material that you’ll find on the market: graphite, composite, and fiberglass. A graphite rod is on the pricier side of the spectrum, but this expense is based on its outstanding quality and durability. A fiberglass rod is the most affordable option but is less durable, powerful, and sensitive.
We recommend opting for a graphite rod because the benefits are apparent and lasting. You wouldn’t want to travel for a fishing trip only to be met with less than great conditions and find that your rod isn’t durable enough for angling.
Your target fish and environment impact the type of casting reel, line weight, and installments necessary in your travel rod, so look for a rod that is versatile and durable.
Many novice anglers learn how to fish using a spinning rod because this reel is simple to maneuver and useful for catching smaller sized fish. A baitcasting reel might be the right choice if you require a heavier line in deeper waters for catching large fish.
Whether you’re inland or boat fishing in freshwater or saltwater impacts the kind of action, power, and fishing reel that’s best for you.
Action & Power
A rod's action affects everything from casting range to sensitivity once the line is cast. A rod that has a slow action will have a flexible bend and won’t be as sensitive as rods with actions on the other side of the spectrum.
Power is how resistant your rod is to flexing. Ranging from ultra-light to ultra-heavy, power impacts type and size hook sets you need. The last thing you want is to cut your fishing trip short because the line or hook broke.
Extra Rod Accessories
The compact design of travel rods makes fishing trips hassle-free and convenient for anglers of any preferred fishing method.
A fishing rod travel tube or a fishing rod travel case will often be included when purchasing your travel rod kit. Travel tubes and cases will protect your gear and are necessary, especially if you will be carrying the travel rod on your person rather than storing it away during travel.
Line and lure weight will vary depending on your travel rod, so choose your extra rod accessories accordingly.
Prices for travel rods can range anywhere upwards of $200. It can be tempting to select the cheapest option without looking at the product’s reviews, but remember that finding a high quality travel rod doesn't have to break the bank. Among our best reviewed travel rods, we share several affordable options that are incredibly durable and long-lasting.
Travel rods are designed with the foresight of being highly durable and versatile for the angler on the go. Your rod will likely come with a warranty plan, so your investment is protected on the off chance that any issues arise. A high quality travel rod like the ones we reviewed are designed to last you for years.
7 Best Travel Fishing Rods Reviewed
1. St. Croix Triumph
Our Top Pick
Number of Pieces
The St. Croix Triumph travel rod is our top pick because its sleek style and high quality make it an angler's dream travel rod. Whether you opt for the 5'6" model or the 6'6" model, this rod is designed for optimal angling when on your trip and storing when home. To make travel even more seamless, a secure travel case with a padded nylon interior comes with your purchase of the St. Croix Triumph.
We regard the St. Croix Triumph as the best four piece travel rod on the market today because it checks all of the boxes. Each model is fast action, so rest assured that you’ll achieve optimal casting reach and sensitivity. Depending on your preferences, you have the option to select a rod with a Medium to Ultra-Light power.
From the slim, premium-grade cork handle to the compact size, every aspect of the rod’s design has been clearly thought out and executed. As a highly reviewed product on Amazon, this rod has been trusted by anglers who travel frequently. The action of the rod is guaranteed to last, and if any issues occur, the gear is backed with a 5-year warranty plan. Whether you’re fishing in freshwater or saltwater, this rod is dependable and durable for the long-term.
2. KastKing Blackhawk II
Best Telescopic Travel Rod
Number of Pieces
The KastKing Blackhawk II is the telescopic travel rod that you can rely on for being top quality at an affordable cost. We consider this rod the best telescopic rod for your gear and the best budget travel rod on the market. The one-piece blank can be extended from the tip end of the rod with the least amount of effort and will collapse just as easily when you’re ready to pack up for the day.
From the reinforced reel seats to the EVA handle, the KastKing engineers considered the angler's experience when designing this product. The multiple floating guides will keep your line steady and your casting smooth. Because this is a telescopic rod, you don’t have to go through the process of connecting the blank sections like you would with another type of travel rod. It really comes down to personal preference in this aspect.
Whether you’re looking to spend a day out on a kayak, on a boat, or stay inshore, this fast action rod will ensure that you have the right sensitivity and allow you to hook bigger fish. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a rod that is a more inexpensive option while delivering the same high quality as the Blackhawk II.
3. Daiwa ARDT763MHFS-TR Ardito-TR
Best 3 Piece Travel Rod
Number of Pieces
This fast action travel rod is the one you need if you’re looking for a three piece travel spinning rod worth the investment. Constructed with High Volume Fiber Graphite, you won’t have an issue with blank twists or snapping segments. The engineers behind the design were strategic with V-Flex Ferrules' placement to ensure that the rod will have the proper bend.
Like some of the other travel rods in our review, Daiwa offers a warranty plan. In this case, the warranty is set at a five-year limited warranty. When you take to the waters with this rod, your line weight can range anywhere between eight to seventeen pounds without an issue. Keep in mind also that this model has eight Fuji Aluminum Oxide guides.
From the V-Flex Ferrule Joint System to the un-sanded micro pitch taping blank, this rod's construction is intentional in every aspect. When scouting the market for 3-piece travel rods, this rod stood out among others for its flexibility capabilities and strength. If you decide to purchase this Daiwa travel rod, you won’t have to worry about spending more money on a travel case because there is already one included.
Best Travel Fly Rod
Number of Pieces
Includes action but not power: Medium Fast Action
When you’re planning your next angling trip, consider bringing along a Goture Fly Fishing Rod. This medium fast action rod is perfect for bass fishing, salmon fishing, and trout fishing. If you’re looking for more variety in your rod’s action, Goture offers models with a minimum length of nine feet that range from slow to medium fast action.
Anglers experienced with fly fishing need a rod with the proper guide and reel seat installments to make the smoothest cast. Your fishing environment can have an impact on what model Goture would work best for you. In waterways with a lot of vegetation, a shorter and slower action rod will give you more flexibility for maneuvering the line. Fishing on open water calls for a medium fast action rod because you’ll be able to extend your line further out.
This fly travel rod can be a great option for beginners and other anglers who want to fish in freshwater environments. Because this rod is a four piece model, it’s perfect for travel and spontaneous trips, near or far. When you purchase the Goture rod from Amazon, you’ll also receive a PVC rod tube, which will further simplify your travel fishing experience.
5. Okuma Nomad Inshore
Best Inshore Travel Rod
Number of Pieces
Medium Light/Medium or Medium/Medium Heavy
The Okuma Nomad Inshore rod was designed to be compactly stowed away for angling trips across international waters, should you choose to branch out from familiar waters. This high performance rod works best for inshore and freshwater fishing. The European spigot ferrule connections make it so that the blank sections overlap more when assembled, and this structure gives the Okuma Nomad Inshore a cohesive feel.
The guides are structurally sound and fitted with Zirconium inserts, so there’s no risk of shifting between uses. A characteristic that makes this rod stand out is the tip section's design. Each rod has two tip sections with a lighter and heavier weight, which plays a big part in improving the rod's sensitivity overall.
When you purchase this rod, you receive a limited lifetime warranty guarantee from the manufacturer. While this rod is one of our review's pricier options, the value you get for investing in this travel rod is apparent. Many travel rods will be marketed as rods that have the same feel as a one-piece rod, but with its European ferrules and blank design, you can trust that this rod really will meet this standard.
Best Travel Surf Fishing Rod
Number of Pieces
Rubber Shrink Tube
If you’re an angler looking to make the most out of saltwater fishing, the Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing Rod is an excellent option. We’ve ranked Fiblink as the Best Travel Surf Fishing Rod for a reason. Whether you decide to go with the two-piece or four-piece model, you’ll receive a high performance rod at an affordable cost.
The high-strength reel seat makes it so that you are in complete control. The rod's guides are constructed with a mix of stainless steel and ceramic molding so that when you cast out your line, you’ll feel minimal friction.
When it comes to surf fishing, long-distance casting is what you’re aiming for. The installments and construction of the Fiblink enhance its durability so that anglers can make the most of a day of surf fishing, regardless of how smooth or rocky the waters may be.
The carbon fiber construction of the rod and the non-slip handle are especially beneficial for surf fishing and boat fishing. This model has the capacity for a line weight anywhere between 15 and 30 pounds. With your purchase of the Fiblink travel rod, you’ll also get a rod protective bag and a one-year warranty plan against any equipment malfunctions.
7. PLUSINNO Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel
Best Travel Fishing Rod Kit
Number of Pieces
The PLUSINNO Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combos Kit are one to invest in. This kit is perfect for the novice angler looking to add to her or his fishing gear as well as the experienced angler looking for a travel option that has it all.
This kit includes a carrier bag, telescopic fishing rod, fishing reel, fishing line, and fishing lures. It truly is a one-stop shop option. If you’re not currently in the market for more fishing lures and line, PLUSINNO offers different kits that include fewer items. Depending on your preference, you can always go with the kit option that includes the fishing rod, reel, and carrier case or keep it minimal with just the rod and reel.
Now, to give a breakdown of what’s inside the kit. The telescopic fishing rod is made of high-density carbon fiber and fiberglass material to be able to handle heavy tugging on the line. The compact nature of a telescopic rod is a given, so travel wouldn’t be an issue in the slightest. This rod has a short body fishing reel capable of holding a large line, which will be great for reeling in bigger fish. One of the most appealing installments, however, is the anti-seawater corrosion reel seats.
Travel Rods vs. Telescopic Fishing Rods
Depending on your angling style, you may find yourself leaning more toward a telescopic rod than another type of travel rod.
When it comes to telescopic rods, keep in mind that many travel rods are telescopic, but not all telescopic rods are suited for travel. That being said, the KastKing Blackhawk II is a telescopic rod that is adaptable for travel and well worth your investment.
Other Essential Accessories for Travel Fishing
Once you select a travel rod that fits your lifestyle the best, take inventory of your equipment and consider if there are any necessary tools that you overlooked.
Above all else, a fishing rod travel tube and a travel rod case are two items that will protect your rod from any physical damage traveling might accrue. A travel-friendly reel is an installment that shouldn’t be overestimated.
By investing in your travel rod's protection and efficiency, you'll reap the benefits for years and years.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
How does a travel rod become so compact?
It’s all in the design. Travel rods with multi-sectional blanks or a telescopic design allow an angler to reduce the rod's size in seconds. You get the same quality of experience for a fraction of the size.
How long can I expect a travel rod to last?
Travel rods, especially ones with graphite and composite material, are worth the investment. An angler on the move can rely on travel rods for long-term use.
What’s the best way to travel with fishing rods?
The compact size of multi-sectional travel rods and telescopic rods make transporting fishing rods doable with the least amount of hassle. Travel rod cases and tubes will prevent damage to the rods while you’re on the move. If you’re traveling by car, store the travel case where it’s most convenient and settle in with peace of mind to your destination. Some airlines have regulations about bringing a travel rod as a carry-on, so be sure to check with your airline before you head to the airport.
What brands manufacture the best travel-friendly rods?
You can find high-quality travel rods manufactured by brands like Okuma, Daiwa, and St. Croix.
Where is the best place to buy these travel rods and other fishing gear?
Whether you opt for the St. Croix Triumph or another travel rod, Amazon is our answer every time.
Anglers scouting out new fishing locations or preparing for their next big trip should decide to invest in a travel rod. From multi-sectional rods to telescopic rods, there is an option for every fishing environment and preference.
Having a travel rod in your fishing arsenal can be the difference between spending a day indoors and spending a day out on the water.